Six unbeaten boxers, eight total with a combined record of 105-3-3, will highlight a ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) on Friday, March 13, from The Space at Westbury in Westbury, N.Y.
Two of the fights will feature undefeated boxers against each other. In the main event, Antoine “Action” Douglas (16-0-1, 10 KOs) of Washington, D.C., will meet Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna (16-0, 7 KOs) of Millville, N.J., in a 10-round middleweight scrap. Adam Lopez (9-0, 4 KOs), of San Antonio, and Houston’s Pablo Cruz (11-0, 3 KOs) clash in an eight-round battle of Lone Star State super bantamweights in the opener of the telecast.
In the co-feature, unbeaten southpaw Ismael Barroso (16-0-2, 15 KOs), of El Tigre, Venezuela, will shoot for his 13th consecutive victory when he faces Issouf “Volcano” Kinda (17-2, 7 KOs), of Bronx, N.Y., in a 10-round scrap for the NABO Lightweight Title. In the eight-round feature bout, once-beaten Jerry “The King’s Son” Odom (12-1, 1 NC, 11 KOs), of Washington D.C., will try and avenge his lone loss when he takes on undefeated Andrew “Hurricane” Hernandez (8-0-1, 1 ND, 1 KO) of Phoenix, Ariz., in a super middleweight rematch.
Which of the undefeated boxers will keep their unblemished records intact on Friday The 13th? Since ShoBox premiered in July 2001, 125 fighters – and counting – suffered their initial defeats on the popular series, where promising prizefighters often face their toughest foes to date.
Douglas, 22, is unbeaten (1-0-1) in two ShoBox appearances. He has won two in a row, including a lopsided six-round decision over Don Mouton in his most recent start last Nov. 13 2014, and a 10-round majority draw with former world title challenger Michel Soro (23-1-1 going in) last July on ShoBox.
“Douglas grew up a little bit in his last fight on ShoBox, dominating Soro early and then fading late in a fight that could have gone either way,” said ShoBox Expert Analyst and Boxing Historian Steve Farhood. “It’s the kind of fight a young prospect needs to learn about himself and I’m anxious to see if that experience proves to play a big part in his maturity as a fighter. He’s a very exciting, aggressive middleweight and for a very young fighter seems to be moving very quickly.”
A solid amateur who made it to the 2011 U.S. Olympic Trials before going pro in Oct. 2012, Douglas fought twice that year, nine times in 2013 and six times in 2014.
Douglas looked strong while pitching a shutout in his 12th pro start, winning his ShoBox debut and knocking out one of his opponent’s teeth in an entertaining but one-sided eight-round decision over previously unbeaten Marquis Davis (8-0-2 going in) in January 2014.
Douglas, who acknowledges the notoriety he’s received since appearing on ShoBox, is now taking his third scheduled 10-round fight.
“This is going to be a big fight, a very big fight,” he said. “I am the main event. It is another step up the ladder and I get to take that step on a big network like SHOWTIME.
“I know LaManna from the amateurs so this fight came as a bit of a surprise to me. But this is the sport of boxing. I know he’s coming to win and stay undefeated, just like I am. I think 160 is my best weight and is one I should stay comfortable at. No more catch-weights hopefully.
“ShoBox has shown me love and has been very beneficial to me and my career. I’m definitely getting noticed more. I know I need to get a win on March 13 to continue to climb the rankings.”
LaManna, 23, is a determined young fighter with a sometimes unpredictable style. A pro since February 2011, he has been a fixture on Atlantic City boxing cards, having fought there eight times. LaManna, who is two-and-a half inches taller than Douglas, is looking forward to the opportunity and is confident he can spring an upset in his 10-round ShoBox debut.
“I’ve been waiting for a fight like this,” said LaManna, who is coming off a unanimous six-round decision over Gilbert Sanchez last Dec. 13. “Without a doubt they made a mistake by picking me. I am so excited for this fight and I am going to make the best of it. I know I am going to come in there 100 percent prepared and do what I have to do to get the victory.
“I know Antoine from the amateurs although we never sparred or boxed. I know he is a good fighter and this will be a good fight. This is what boxing needs, two undefeated fighters facing each other and what better place than on ShoBox.”
Barroso, 32, is a power-punching nine-year pro who’s making his ShoBox, U.S. and 2015 debut. The well-traveled Barroso turned pro in August 2005, had two draws in his first six fights, but has won 12 straight since, 11 by way of knockout. In his most recent outing last Dec. 5, the devastating Barroso destroyed Maximiliano Galindo, scoring four knockdowns — one in the first and second and two in the third — en route to a third-round knockout.
Kinda, 27, who was born in Ouagadougou (pronounced wa-ga-DOO-goo), Burkina Faso, is making his 14th start in New York. Kinda turned pro in January 2009 and won his initial 16 fights, including the New York state 140-pound title. He is coming off a second-round TKO over Kevin Carter last Jan. 17 in Tennessee.
“My style is moving, punching and attacking people,” said Kinda, an accomplished amateur who was the 2007 African Championships silver medalist at 132 pounds. “I want do my best to be known as a good fighter in the U.S., and around the world. This is my first shot to prove myself on a big stage and I’m not going to let it slip away.
“His power doesn’t scare me. I’ll be ready.”
The Odom-Hernandez bout has “grudge” written all over it. “There’s obviously some intrigue in the rematch because of the way the first fight ended,” Farhood said. “Odom proved in his one ShoBox appearance to be a very exciting, big punching prospect and I can’t wait to see him again.”
Odom, 21, a top amateur and 2012 National Golden Gloves Champion at 178 pounds, had a 12-fight win streak end on Jan. 9, 2015, when he was disqualified in the fourth round for continuing to punch and land shots after he’d dropped Hernandez with a flurry of punches. The crowd booed, but Hernandez was clearly down.
“This time it will be a totally different fight,” Odom insisted. “I will leave no doubt. I was on my way to winning easily and he was out to try and give me my first loss anyway he could. So he just quit. I’m looking forward to March 13 to avenge that loss and get the win that I should have the last time we fought.”
In his ShoBox debut, Odom overcame the first cut of his career to register two knockdowns—in the fourth and seventh rounds—en route to knocking out previously undefeated Vilier Quinonez (8-0 going in) in the seventh round on July 25, 2014.
Hernandez, 29, scoffs at the notion that he quit and concedes that while Odom is talented, it was his opponent who was the one looking for a way out.
“I find it hilarious that he says I quit,” Hernandez said. “I honestly think the reason why he got disqualified is because he was looking for a way out. All his talk has me absolutely looking forward to this fight. I don’t want just a victory, I want a knockout and I’m going to get it. He can say what he wants, but I guarantee you. I’m going to stop him.
“Odom’s really talented and very strong, no doubt about it, but that may go against him and I’m going to make him pay. He throws very wide punches and is not a very good boxer. He’s obviously talented and has a lot of knockouts but if you have boxing skills and can take a punch, you can pretty much take him apart.
“I felt I was landing what I wanted in the first fight and feel I would have stopped him. I thought I was doing fine the first three rounds. And now I know what I’m up against. He can say what he wants, but he was the one who head-butted me several times. One finally cut me right on my ear and it cost me seven stitches.”
Lopez, 24, and Cruz, 28, will be making their ShoBox and eight-round debuts and will be fighting for the first time outside of Texas. It is unquestionably the most dangerous fight to date for both prospects.
A top amateur before going pro in February 2012, Lopez has scored two knockouts in a row, including a fifth-round TKO over Leonardo Torrez in his most recent scrap last Aug. 30.
Cruz was also an accomplished amateur. Due to his dual citizenship –his father hails from El Salvador – Cruz competed for El Salvador in the amateurs, was a 2011 Salvador National Amateur Champion and made it to El Salvador’s Olympic Trials. Cruz has fought three times since last September. In his last outing he won a six-round unanimous decision over Manuel Rubalcava on Jan. 22, 2015.
The fighters are confident of making the next step in their career a successful one, and both anticipate a terrific battle.
“It’s going to be a really good fight,” said Lopez, an aggressive counter-puncher who’s trained by former two-time world champion Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez. “We’re familiar with each other. We sparred once. I’m not going in totally blind. I expect a competitive fight. We are both undefeated and from Texas.”
“I think it’s going to be a super fight. Lopez is a great fighter. I have heard excellent things about him,” said Cruz. “This is going to be a huge challenge for me. It’s going to be a great show. I am going to work and do my thing. I’m ready and excited to walk out of that ring undefeated.”
Advance tickets for the event promoted by GH3 Promotions and Greg Cohen Promotions in association with David Schuster’s Winner Take All Productions, are priced at $150, $125, and $60 for general admission. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, thespacewestbury.com, The Space at Westbury Box Office at 516.283.5566 or by calling the GCP Office at 212.851.6425.